Shirts vs Skins

September 30, 2008

Ever since Barry and Donna kicked me out of the party that has been my home for over 20 years, I’ve noticed a distinct change in the way I feel about both parties.  I also find myself mystified as to how otherwise sane and intelligent bloggers can turn into uncritical partisan cheerleaders like these three stooges did.  Perhaps this article by Shankar Vedantam explains why:

“Party identification is part of your social identity, in the same way you relate to your religion or ethnic group or baseball team,” said Gary C. Jacobson, a political scientist at the University of California at San Diego. This explains why, on a range of issues, partisans invariably feel their side can do nothing wrong and the other side can do nothing right. By contrast, moderates don’t feel there is a yawning divide on issues because they don’t identify with one party or another. Moderates, in other words, are like people who are uninterested in sports and roll their eyes when fans of opposing teams hurl abuse at each other.

I am not a moderate, I am a flaming liberal, but I still don’t feel there is a “yawning divide on issues” between the Democrats and the GOP.  In fact, I see no difference at all between the two parties when it comes to corruption, but I do see a clear difference between the two candidates.

Barack Obama is far more corrupt than John McCain.

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Chris Bowers nails it

September 30, 2008

Really, he does:

Yeesh. I think I am developing a better understanding of why the conservative backlash narrative works so well. People on the losing side of major legislative and electoral battles in America really do have a habit of calling the winners stupid. When discussing the defeat of the bailout today, the pundit tone on television was almost universally patronizing, sneering disbelief. This even though the pundits were talking about members of Congress who almost all have advanced degrees, who all were democratically elected by hundreds of thousands of people, who acted under enormous stress and in opposition to all available leadership, and who by virtually every available measure are all really, very successful, hard working, people who work in public service. And yet, the disbelief as to how this group of Neanderthals would dare to put the country in such a grim position by daring to vote against this bailout is surely a sign of not only idiocy, but of the failure of the democratic process itself.

[…]

I have a word of friendly, concern troll advice to all those who lose electoral or legislative battles in a democratic system: don’t talk down to the winners. This applies in pretty much any electoral or legislative situation, and not just in the specific case of the bailout. You didn’t lose because your opponents are dumb. You lost because you failed to convince enough people you were right. That is actually a failing on your part, not of your opponents. In this specific case, it is a massive failing on the part of the people who supported the bailout. They had both presidential candidates, the leadership of both parties in both branches of Congress, virtually the entire national media, and all of the moneyed interests in their corner, and they still couldn’t convince a majority of either the public or congressional backbenchers that it was a good idea. If you ask me, that is actually pretty frackin’ pathetic. Some might even wonder if there is a fundamental stupidity at the core of this proposal if, with virtually all the levers of public influence supporting it, the majority of the country still thinks it is a bad idea.

Not only is Mr. Bowers 100% correct, but I find myself agreeing with Megan McArdle too:

Pelosi screwed up royally.  She is the Democratic Tom DeLay.  Newt Gingrich was an ideologue, but Tom DeLay was simply a partisan, most keenly interested in maximizing his party’s political power.  Pelosi cut a deal in which, as far as I can tell, every single Republican in a safe seat had to vote yes so that the Democrats could maximize their no votes.  Given that the Republican caucus is pretty much in open revolt, this was beyond moronic.  She then spent a week openly and repeatedly blaming the Republicans and the Bush administration for the current crisis.  The way she set things up, it was “Heads I win, tails you lose”:  vote for the deal and I’ll paint you as heartless reactionaries bailing out your fat cat friends.  If you’re going to do that, you’d better make sure you have some goddamn margin for error in your own party.  She didn’t.  Then she got up and delivered yet another speech blaming the Republicans for the bailout deal she was about to pass.

Being in power means that you get to give your party special favors on many occasions–but it also means that you, yes you, have the ultimate responsibility for getting things done.  She didn’t particularly try to bring her party in line, and so of course as soon as a few Republicans defected, hers stampeded.  The ultimate blame for this failure has to be laid at her feet.

This election is very disorienting.  I keep finding myself agreeing with people I rarely or never agreed with before.  Last week was the worst, I found myself on the same page with Michelle “Our Lady of Perpetual Outrage” Malkin.

I think I’ll ask my doctor for a note so I can join the nearest Cannabis Club.  Booze just isn’t cutting it.


Money Quote

September 29, 2008

If you think the Big Shitpile is a reason we need to elect Obama, think again: 

OBAMA: Well, I think there are a whole host of areas where Republicans in some cases may have a better idea.

WALLACE: Such as?

OBAMA: Well, on issues of regulation. I think that back in the ’60s and ’70s a lot of the way we regulated industry was top-down command and control, we’re going to tell businesses exactly how to do things.

And you know, I think that the Republican Party and people who thought about the markets came up with the notion that, “You know what? If you simply set some guidelines, some rules and incentives, for businesses — let them figure out how they’re going to, for example, reduce pollution,” and a cap and trade system, for example is a smarter way of doing it, controlling pollution, than dictating every single rule that a company has to abide by, which creates a lot of bureaucracy and red tape and oftentimes is less efficient. (4-28-08)

Can we have Hillary back now?

(h/t Makana44)

UPDATE:

At a campaign rally Monday, September 29, in Denver, Colorado, Democratic presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama once again charged his Republican opponent, Sen. John McCain, with being a supporter of deregulating financial markets that have since collapsed. “He’s fought against common-sense regulations for decades … and he said in a recent interview that he thought deregulation has actually helped grow our economy. Senator, what economy are you talking about?” Obama said.

BTW – Obama lied


Captain Spaulding for President!

September 29, 2008

Desperate times call for desperate measures!


Pennywise and pound foolish

September 29, 2008

There really is a financial crisis.  But don’t let some clown scare you into making a mistake.

The bailout bill that was defeated today was a bad bill.  The only thing good about it was that it wasn’t as bad as the original proposal.  

IT WAS DEFEATED BECAUSE OF A BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS THAT IT WAS NOT GOOD FOR AMERICA!

Paul Krugman gave it his (bare minimum) approval.  Supposedly it was agreed to by the leaders of both parties, so why did it fail?  From Texas Hill Country:

Once the initial reaction passed, the public began begrudgingly to accept that the bill was gonna happen, even though they were none too pleased…  and then the Democrats politicized the hell out of it.

Reid called out McCain, so McCain called him on his bluff and headed to DC.  Reid then backpeddaled when Obama decided to stay on the trail.  Bush said ”oh hell no, you are not gonna callout my boy and then sit on the sidelines” and ordered Obama back to DC too.  Pelosi began bashing the Republicans saying that the Democrats bear no responsibility what-so-ever.  Obama led some talks, apparently poorly, that ended up in shouting matches.  Democrats began to rail against the “failed Republican economic philosphy” when in actuality, the Dems bear as much responsibility as the Republicans, the Banks and, honestly, the people that took loans they could not afford or did not understand. (emphasis added)

Dennis Kucinich, Sheila jackson-Lee, Darrell Issa and Ron Paul all voted against it.  Talk about strange bedfellows!  Some people are trying to blame the GOP for defeating the bill, but it was truly a bipartisan vote.  More Democrats voted against it than Republicans voted for it.

So what to we do now?  We tell our elected leaders to QUIT PLAYING POLITICS AND DO YOUR JOBS!

Call ’em, and tell ’em we’ll be watching, and remind them that the election is really close.


More hypocrisy from TalkLeft

September 29, 2008

At least this time it’s not from Jeralyn, it’s from TChris:

Douglas Wead misses the point when he asks: “Are we saying [evangelical Christians] can’t participate in public life?” No. We’re asking how, if at all, those beliefs shape the candidate’s view of appropriate public policy.

That view on the religious beliefs of candidates sure wasn’t the consensus opinion of Left Blogistan back in March when Reverend Jeremiah Wright became news.

With Digby promoting ageism, I guess i shouldn’t be so hard on the junior Kool-aid slurper at TalkLeft. 

But I sure miss the days when lefty bloggers had principles.


Cognitive Dissonance, thy name is Obama Supporter

September 28, 2008

Leah at Corrente says the bailout is not a done deal:

The reaction across the blogisphere is the same; go to OPEN SECRET, or Kos, or MyDD, or Newsbusters, of ThinkProgress, or TPM or American Prospect; everyone agrees that the Democratic leadership is in danger of being royally snookered, once again. Matt Stoller has a petition signed by members of the House progressive caucus. I left a comment there and at least two people picked up on it – yes let’s try and get Obama to realize that he’s watching the near sure failure of the first two years of an Obama administration, happening right before his eyes, and he’s doing nothing? At least he’s equivicating.

Leah seems to think that the bailout is a GOP idea.  From Jeralyn

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama said Sunday his Republican rival deserves no credit for helping to forge a tentative agreement on the $700 billion bailout of Wall Street.

Maybe TalkLeft is too far away for Leah.  But she should at least read the posts at Corrente.